BUILDING FLEXIBLE GROUPWARE THROUGH OPEN PROTOCOLS
This paper presents a technical approach to building flexible groupware applications. Flexibility provides the promise of personalizable groupware, allowing different groups to work with the system in diverse ways which best suit the group's own needs. An implementation technique called open protocols is described, which is a variation of client/server architectures. Open protocols facilitate the addition of group-specific modules long after the system has been created. Three examples illustrating the use of open protocols are presented: floor control, conference registration, and brainstorming. Finally, a number of issues facing the groupware developer using open protocols are addressed, along with strategies that can help in dealing with these issues.